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Prague meeting most difficult in two-year talks between Russia, Georgia envoys

October 18, 2014, 21:39 UTC+3 TBILISI
Abashidze said that “the meetings have been a means of communication between the two countries since December 2012 that help to promote practical issues of partnership in trade, the economy, transport
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TBILISI, October 18. /TASS/. A meeting with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin in the Czech capital Prague on October 16 was “the most difficult in the two-year talks within the ‘Abashidze-Karasin’ format,” Zurab Abashidze, the Georgian prime minister’s special envoy for relations with Russia, said on Saturday.

Abashidze said that “the meetings have been a means of communication between the two countries since December 2012 that help to promote practical issues of partnership in trade, the economy, transport and the humanitarian sphere while more complicated issues are discussed in Geneva but not in Prague.”

“Even though Abkhazia and South Ossetia are excluded from discussions at the meetings within the ‘Abashidze-Karasin’ format, an exception was made in Prague for the issue related to publishing of the treaty on co-operation and integration between Russia and Abkhazia,” he said adding that he “voiced Georgia’s stance on the issue.”

On October 16 Karasin after his meeting with Abashidze said that his Georgian counterpart “raised in a rather sharp manner an issue on the new draft treaty between Russia and Abkhazia that had not been stipulated by the agenda.”

“I listened to his logic and gave explanations,” he said adding that “the friendship treaty with Abkhazia was signed in 2008 soon after Mikhail Saakashvili’s military aggression.”

“Since that time about 80 various agreements have been concluded in all spheres of our relations,” Karasin said. “When new people came to power in Abkhazia, the whole system was needed to be regulated and systematized. Thus, the new draft treaty means no encroachment on anyone’s sovereignty and independence.”

“It is easy to reject a dialogue but we should not be guided by emotions,” Karasin said in his comments on appeals from certain local politicians for cancellation of talks within the ‘Abashidze-Karasin’ format.

In recent days Abashidze and Georgian high-ranking officials have been reiterating that “a direct dialogue with the Russian Federation with due regard to Georgia’s interests is necessary in spite of all the problems in this process.

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